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Settling with ICBC and the Cost of Expert Reports

ICBC suffered a knock out blow in this car accident case. ICBC had made formal offers to settle in the amounts of $25,000.00 and $35,000.00 for personal injuries and subsequently settled for $45,000.00 plus costs and disbursements (case expensese) agreed or assessed. The claimants case expenses totalled $32,000 at the time of settlement.

Three months after the settlement the costs has still not been resolved and the ICBC lawyer refused to pay the claimants case expenses stating in a letter:

 As you know, this file settled … for $45,000.00. The total costs and disbursements sought are $32,622.87. The defendants take the position that the prosecution of the claim was not reasonable and took positions which increased costs and disbursements and puts the plaintiff to strict proof of her bill before the Registrar. We note that the defendants presented a formal offer to settle for $25,000…, increased it to $35,000. The plaintiff incurred disbursements that were not in proportion to her claim and were unreasonable.

The court completely disagreed with the ICBC lawyer and awarded the claimant her full expenses. In doing so the Registrar had this to say:

[50]   … I have not been provided any evidence which would suggest that the fee accounts rendered by the various experts are exorbitant, extravagant, due to excessive caution or zeal, or negligent or mistaken as judged by the situation at the time the disbursements were incurred. Rather I have been provided with a lengthy and comprehensive affidavit of justification from Mr. W. on behalf of the plaintiff… I conclude that the fee accounts rendered by the experts retained by the plaintiff were reasonable, and that the retainer of the experts was appropriate in the circumstances of this litigation.(Rahmatian v. Tisdall, 2018 BCSC 1504)

These expenses incurred in prosecution of this personal injury case appeared to only be necessary because of the unreasonable offer ICBC was trying to convince the claimant to accept before trial.

Posted by Personal Injury Lawyer Mr. Renn A. Holness. B.A. LL.B.

Tags: icbc case examples, Rule 14-1(5) Disbursements

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